Green Beans Month to Month

January Interesting info about beans - Green beans are also known as French bean, filet bean, haricot, wax bean (bush), string bean (bush). The Latin name for green bean is Phaseolus vulgaris, which is in the Fabaceae Family. Green beans are not native to North America, however the species has been under cultivation worldwide for more than 7,000 years.

FebruaryIt's time to think about which variety of green beans you plan to grow in your garden this year. If you want to get an idea about which varieties of green beans work best in your state, go to where they have gardener's evaluations of all of the most common varieties. They currently list over 287 varieties of green beans from which to choose. Registration is free.
Optional - Planning ahead - Bush beans do not require support to produce a good crop. However, they will benefit from some type of support to keep them from flopping over in heavy summer rains. Before you plant your seeds, string seveeral lines of wire or twine 8 inches high the length of the row. Wind them around 3 foot stakes set every 5 or 6 feet. The beans will be cleaner and easier to harvest.

March Green bean seeds can be stored for up to 4 years. If you have some seed from last year, you might want to check out the viability by soaking three or four seeds over night and then placing them in a folded, damp paper towel on top of the refrigerator. If half germinate, they are worth using again this year.
Green beans don't lend themselves to starting early inside under lights. They hate being transplanted. Soaking beans over night to hasten germination may damage seeds.
Preparing soil - Green beans prefer full sun, though will produce some in part shade. Prefer well drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8 (slightly acidic). If you have great soil, the roots of your green beans can grow as deep as three to four feet. Don't plant green beans until the soil temperature is over 60 degrees F. Inoculating seed with rhizobium bacteria may increase yields, especially in soils where beans have not been grown before.

April Plant Greens at least 2 weeks after last expected frost; Plant 1 to 1 ½ inches deep. Bush types plant 3 to 4 inches apart. IF you plant at 2 inches you will get more beans, in terms of weight, but they will be a bit smaller. Seedlings should emerge in 6 to 10 days. Most green beans are ready to pick in about 55 days from germination. When thinning, cut rather than pull unwanted seedlings.
Optional – To harvest bush beans all season long, plant seeds every 10 days or so up to 2 months before the expected first frost. Unless your soil is superior in organic content, one light application of a slow-release granular fertilizer in the spring is sufficient for Green beans. Do not over fertilize!

May Beans like about an inch of water a week until July and August when two inches is preferred. Critical watering periods are during pollination and pod development. Optional Trick - When your snap beans are blooming, spray them with a fine mist of water to encourage pollination and increased pod set.

JuneGreen beans like to have a 2 to 3 inch layer of organic mulch around the base of the plants through the heat of the summer. For advice on solving insect and disease problems of green beans, go to "green beans" in Cooking Tips go to and put "beans, snap" in the search window.
Optional - Fall Planting Time - At least 12 weeks before first expected frost.
Optional - Good crops to plant after green beans are harvested are lettuce, spinach, or peas.

July -You can harvest this crop as snap beans (eat fresh before seeds), shell beans (let seeds form but not dry out) or dry beans (beans are dried so they will store in a jar over the winter).
Harvest fresh beans while the pods are young and tender and the beans inside are still immature. Pick them before the swelling beans are visible as bumps on the pod surface. If pods are too old they get tough, and (in some varieties) develop strings along their seams. Pick all mature pods to keep plants producing. Bush beans will continue to produce for 3 weeks if kept picked.
Store freshly picked snap beans in the refrigerator in plastic bags. They will stay relatively fresh for a week or so.
Optional - Fall Planting Time - At least 12 weeks before first expected frost.

AugustPod set is often poor and blossoms can fall off when temperatures exceed 90 F. If bean plants are mulched and you water in the middle of the day, they can do better in the heat.
For Storage tips for green beans go to and use the search words "beans, snap"

September Don't forget to check into the Cornell University Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners database and give your evaluations of the varieties of green bean you grew this year. Registration is free. Go to Here are the varieties of green bean receiving the most evaluations so far:
Fortex - 15 ratings, Provider - 11, Royal Purple Burgundy - 6, Bush Blue Lake - 5, Roms II - 5, Masai Beans - 4, Black Valentine - 4, Nickel - 4, Roc D'or - 4, Contender - 4

October If you still have dead green bean bushes in your garden, it is wise to collect them and place them in the compost pile or in the trash. If the area where the green beans grew is covered with 2 to 3 inches of straw over the winter, that wil serve as habitat for ants, spiders, and ground beetles which will consum many of the eggs of insects that are pests to the green bean.

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